Not many artists go on worldwide tours behind the very first songs they’ve ever penned, but that is exactly what Lizzy Plapinger did with MS MR.
“Secondhand Rapture,” the group’s debut album, “were the first songs I had ever written,” she says. “It’s kind of amazing to share the exact beginning of your creative journey.”
The founder of indie label Neon Gold, first run out of her college dorm room, is working solo now as LPX with a new, more rock-oriented sound. amNewYork caught up with the singer-songwriter to talk about voices, inspirations and lessons learned.
What did you take from your time in MS MR?
MS MR became this beautiful moment where all of my interests intersected for the first time. I always knew that I loved music — so much so that I started a record label out of my dorm room. And having experienced supporting or helping to develop other artists, it was really amazing to be in the driver’s seat of being an artist myself, building my own campaigns. The ability and confidence to be as hands-on as [MS MR bandmate] Max [Hershenow] and I were with every part of the project, was something that really set us apart, and was a really validating experience.
You have told interviewers you didn’t like your own voice. Now, you’ve got an entire project focused on you. Where did the confidence come from?
I think a lot of that just came from getting comfortable in my own skin, getting comfortable with singing in front of people outside of Max, getting comfortable with the idea of me being an artist. And because “Secondhand Rapture” had the first songs I ever wrote, and I’m not a trained singer, so much of the style or way I was singing was an extension of the kind of artists I was listening to at the time. I think what’s been so amazing coming into LPX is that I feel like I’ve actually found my voice.
LPX is more rock-oriented than MS MR electro-pop. Is this something new or simply exploring?
I think it’s a little bit of exploring what was already there. Prior to MS MR, I wasn’t making music, but I was born and raised in London, and I grew up going to rock shows. My favorite artists are Shirley Manson from Garbage, Kathleen Hanna of Le Tigre, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Bloc Party [and] TV on the Radio. I used to throw punk shows in New York for the first two years that I lived here — postcard invitations, in a 50 [person] karaoke bar — and we’d just rage and mosh our faces off. That’s a core piece of me that I’ve just never been able to explore creatively, just given the nature of Max and my shared interests. But I’ve always been a rocker and wild woman at heart, and I came into that on stage the more and more we played.